Tennessee Coach Derek Dooley wants coaches included in conference realignment discussion

Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley wants things to slow down in college football realignment. Dooley is concerned about the pace at which conference realignment is moving and he wants a real dialogue about these changes—a dialogue that would include Southeastern Conference (SEC) football coaches. Dooley addressed the issue of SEC expansion and conference realignment during the weekly SEC teleconference.

“What I just hope is that we have a lot of dialogue on these issues (realignment, nine-game schedules) before we make these decisions,” Dooley said. “What concerns me the most is the pace at which these decisions are made without really thinking through the implications and it is the same thing with scheduling. My hope is that we have a tremendous amount of dialogue and that the coaches are included in the dialogue.”

Dooley expressed concern that some of the things that make college football special like the traditions and rivalries could be lost in a wave of expansion.

“Just from a guy who grew up in the SEC, it is a little disappointing to see all that is happening in college football,” Dooley said. “I think we are tampering with something that has made college football so special and that is the fans, the tradition, the rivalries, the ability to go to road games, playing the same teams every year and you develop a deep history that makes this game special.”

Dooley believes the coaches have been forgotten in this.

“But nobody is really worried about what I think or what the coaches think,” Dooley said. “I hope we don’t end some of these great traditions and rivalries that if we keep going down this path that is what is going to happen.”